Fareed Zakaria’s interview with Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao is interesting stuff. This passage made it seems like he was angling for a spot as an adviser to the McCain campaign:
ZAKARIA: There is another sense in which we are interdependent. China is the largest holder of U.S. Treasury bills. By some accounts, you hold almost $1 trillion of it. It makes Americans – some Americans – uneasy. Can you reassure them that China would never use this status as a weapon in some form?
WEN (voice of interpreter): As I said, we believe that the U.S. real economy is still solidly based, particularly in the high-tech industries and the basic industries. Now, something has gone wrong in the virtual economy. But if this problem is properly addressed, then it is still possible to stabilize the economy in this country.
Wen seems a bit more sanguine than I would be, though, that China could weather a serious US recession without ill effect. His idea seems to be that barring some kind of catastrophic collapse the PRC will be fine, but my sense is that even an “ordinary” slump in the United States could have a very serious impact on employment levels in China.